Capital University: Tutors, students paired virtually through Reading Center
With school districts throughout central Ohio transitioning back to remote learning because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Capital University administrators and students who participate in the university’s Reading Center say its tutoring assistance is more in demand than ever.
The Reading Center connects education majors at Capital with students in kindergarten through 12th grade who need help with reading and language skills. Currently operating virtually, the 23 tutors are paired one-on-one with the students and provide video instruction throughout the semester.
Students are referred to the Reading Center “all by word of mouth,” said Beverly Finley, a Capital professor and the center’s director. “Sometimes it’s a teacher who’s had a student in the program before, and sometimes it’s a parent who approaches us.”
The tutors prepare individualized lesson plans and support the material being covered in the K-12 students' classes, Finley said.
“In this day and age, when state testing is so important, parents have become really concerned about trying to help their child get back up if they’ve fallen a little behind or a lot behind,” she said.
Participating students come from public and private schools throughout central Ohio, Finley said. Although tutoring is being conducted virtually, sessions were held in person on Capital’s campus before the pandemic.
This semester’s students are from Reynoldsburg, Groveport and Bexley, Finley said.
“We’ve had students and their families drive from Obetz, Worthington and Westerville,” she said.
Capital education majors who participate in the Reading Center said they work to find creative ways to plan their virtual tutoring sessions.
Senior Ashley Soltysik said she incorporates a variety of instructional methods and language games with her student, a fourth-grader who attends a French immersion school in Columbus.
“I actually took 4 ½ years of French (in middle and high school), and I was able to include French in some of my lessons,” Soltysik said. “Sometimes I ask him to summarize his day in French, and I summarize my day in French, just so I’m making the connection with him.”
Junior Ilyssa Patton said she researches online resources to include in her lessons with her student, a Reynoldsburg first-grader.
“We practice reading a story together, sharing on the screen,” Patton said. “I will introduce words with the short vowel sounds. We use a lot of shared screens with Word documents or PDFs.
“It’s great practice for me teaching a young student, and it’s great practice teaching virtually, in case that’s ever a need in the future.”
For more information about the Reading Center, go to capital.edu/reading-center.